Reviews

Das Testament Des Dr Mabuse

4

The spirit of a villain lives on in a surrogate body

For his last film before fleeing Nazi Germany, Fritz Lang resurrected his silent-movie arch-villain. Dr. Mabuse dies in an asylum but his spirit enters Dr. Baum, who continues Mabuse’s criminal career.

As with the earlier Mabuse films, what’s gripping isn’t so much the plot as the atmosphere of intangible menace. Lang said the movie was full of covert anti-Nazi propaganda – unlikely since his co-scripter was his Hitler-supporting wife. On the other hand, the film was banned by Goebbels...

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